Tag Archives: Fish Grip

Mid-summer Topwater Bass Fishing

When you think about top water bass fishing, most of us think about the aggressive fast moving baits with explosive strikes that make every other type of fishing feel less exciting. But I was doing something wrong for a long time without even realizing it, most of us are guilty of neglecting the slow side of top water fishing. The river’s I fish get a lot of surface debris called duck weed. It makes almost every top water lure ineffective expect for weedless frogs. I was experimenting with some spook style lures and decided to try my single hook spooks in the duck weed. To my amazement it has been the most productive approach and style of fishing I have ever found.

 

Did you say fish a top water lure slow?

Yes, I have been trying every retrieve I can think of and the most productive involves me giving 4-6 walking motions and then a 5-10 second pause in between the bursts of motion. 90% of my strikes have been coming on the pauses and the biggest fish caught in the last 2 months was when my dad was adjusting something in his kayak, his zara spook had been motionless for 30 seconds before the 6lb bass decided to strike it.

Why does a slow method produce better than a fast retrieve?

This time of year when the water gets hot and holds less oxygen the fish get somewhat lazy, a fish would much rather attack a slow moving dying fish than a fast moving energetic fish that would take much more energy to eat. The long pauses in the retrieves simulate a wounded fish getting exhausted and having to rest in between swimming bursts.

Where do I target my fish with top waters?

80% of the fish I am catching right now are within 5 feet or less of the shoreline or structure I am targeting, however the larger fish I have been catching have been in more open water in the ledges 15-20 feet from the bank. The larger fish will stage on the ledges because once again they are all about conserving energy this time of year and it gives them quick access to shallow feeding flats, and the cooler deeper water.

What lures have been the most productive this month?

Top water walk-the-dog baits have been my number one lure right now. I am actually only fishing for about 2 hours a trip either at first light or leading up to dusk.

Shallow running crankbaits such as the shallow rap, and 1.0 square bills have been productive but not as much as the top water bite.

Fineness plastics such as drop shot worms and Carolina rigged trick worms will be the big transition after the top water bite, look for structure and primary points and ledges near the flats to target the big fish.

As always i hope this posts helps you guys catch a few more fish and remember to always be safe, wear a lifejacket at all times and fill out a US Coast Guard float plan with a friend or family member. a link on the menu bar of this site gives you access to a blank form .

 

 

Pre-Spawn Tactics

Hey everyone, thanks for checking out this weeks blog post. Pre-Spawn can range from february to april depending on where you live in the country. Texas bass are already on beds, here in North Carolina where I’m stationed for now. I have seen smaller bass on beds but the larger females are still staging on the drop offs. Keep in mind these are my top 3 baits for the area that I fish. This river is very dark and your area might have different baits that will blow mine out of the water. But in this river these are king.

Bass will be staging on drop ifs and water 3-8 feet deep with quick access to shallow water. Its good to fish these drop offs and small channels that lead into the small back section of creeks.

The 3 Best Pre Spawn Lures-

#1 Soft Jerk Baits aka Flukes, Small swim baits etc..

Flukes
Watermelon Red Flukes

My number one bait every trip this time of year is soft plastic jerk baits. Watermelon Red is my main color however i am experimenting with a Clear Bream sick fish bait and it has really impressed me.

Sick Fish
Berkley Havoc Sick Fish

#2 Hard Jerk Baits- Working the drop offs and ledges to locate the staging bass can be long and tiring. Jerk baits let you work those suspended bass, and still cover water more quickly than you could with a texas or carolina rig.

Jerkbaits
I prefer smaller Jerk baits than the larger ones

#3 – Lizards- On the bass start hugging the ledges and structure closer to their beds lizards can be a great way to stir up a bite. Bass are very aggressive in this stage and love taking their anger out on a magnum lizard.

IMG_0990
I like to throw oversized Worms and Lizards this time of year

Thanks for checking out our blog and come by on monday for my first full episode on youtube covering fishing the pre spawn cold snaps.

Here is a video form a trip this week. Thanks you guys and be safe out there.

Light Tackle Bass Fishing

Aside from throwing massive swim baits at west coast largemouth bass, people often overlook the aspect of light and ultralight tackle for bass fishing. I have noticed while fishing creeks and rivers that when the bass get lethargic and I target yellow perch, crappie, and chain pickerel, I usually end up catching good size bass. When I target these smaller fish I am using my Abu Garcia ultralight spinning setup and throwing small crank baits, plastics and sometimes the rare ultralight top waters.

These lures are tiny compared to the magnum trick worms and plastics that get thrown at bass on a daily basis, so why are they more aggressive towards the smaller lures? Well the answer to that sentence is within the question itself. Most of the bodies of water today are heavily fished and these bass have seen every color of worm, lizard,and fluke thrown at them. While ultralight and light tackle are used in these waters, they are not thrown nearly as often as the larger tackle, meaning there is a slight chance the fish haven’t been overfished using the lures you are throwing at them. I’m not trying to sell you on throwing light tackle at bass with this article alone, I will be filming multiple episodes for my YouTube channel dedicated to nothing but ultralight and light tackle fishing for big bass. follow us on Facebook, WordPress, or YouTube to view these episodes as they come out starting in March of this year.

While I have your attention I will show you the Light Tackle Box I carry on my kayak on every trip, you never know when the fish will have to be finessed of structure or cover with small lures.

lights.jpg

I hope you enjoyed this short read and I really look forward to showing you guys what light tackle setups can produce for you in the world of bass fishing. As always thanks for swinging by and don’t forget to check out KayakTournaments.com and TourneyX.com for online based CPR tournaments in your state.

My Top 3 Kayak Bass Fishing Techniques

Hey everyone, thanks for checking out my blog! Today I’m going to be covering short and simple my top 3 Kayak Fishing techniques and approaches to catching quality fish.

 

#1-  Use your kayak to throw top waters and frogs in areas larger boats can’t get to.

Backwater

One of my favorite and most used methods of fishing for bass in my kayak involves me paddling into very skinny backwaters or areas of heavy structure/vegetation that larger boats can’t access. This allows you to target larger and less overly fished areas with your frogs and top waters and it can really pay off in tournaments and short afternoon trips.

#2 Bridges, Bridges, and Bridges,

Bridge1

I love to use my kayak to go under low bridges and structure that boasts cannot access. While it can yield some good size bass this method mainly applies to crappie and perch fishing. I have found low bridges that once you get under them have produced large crappie on almost every cast because the area or side that I can fish with my kayak is inaccessible to boats. I mainly use this method by throwing very light weight curly tail grubs so they fall through the water column as slow as possible.

#3- Use you shallow water/heavy cover access to your advantage

brush

Whether you can paddle down a shallow creek or bump your kayak over a fallen tree, using your ability to access backwater, smaller creeks, and heavily structured flats. My primary methods to work areas like these and a carolina rigged large trick worm. My color of choice is normally a pumpkinseed with a lime chartreuse tail section. Remember to flip as close to the structure as you can and don’t be afraid to let the lure your using fall down in the limbs/structure, worst case you lose your lure best case you hook a monster.

This was a short post this week, but next week will be a detailed post covering how to target pre spawning bass and how to catch the monster females during this stage. Have a great weekend and stay safe!

 

KayakTournaments.com Day 1 Fishing Report.

Hello everyone and thanks for swinging by for my first KayakTournaments.com August tourney fishing update.

Today was a very slow day. The moon was bright and shining all night which means the bass were feeding all night. Long story short I was throwing lures at bass with full stomachs, but I still managed to get two pretty decent bass for a quick bluebird morning trip. Both were on a bone colored topwater in 3 feet of water.

Stay Tuned to my blog for an update on tomorrow mornings trip to a different part of the river!

Targeting fish on hot summer days

Hey everyone and thank for swinging by my blog. This weekend I fished some heat indexes of over 100 and figured this weeks blog would be about how I target fish in the heat. Below are my four keys to catching fish during the dog days of summer.

#1 Shadows are the key to bass

Bass will congregate along structure and overhangs that provide large shadows. The predatory fish use the shadows to stay a little cooler and also as an ambush point to feed on smaller baitfish and insects. A good technique to target these bass is with small crank baits or plastics.

Crappie also follow this habit and will concentrate around bridges and submerged structure in 5 to 10 feet of water. My main method for catching crappie in the summer is jigging light tackle curly tail grubs and minnow like plastics along the structure.

#2 Mid day fishing is sometimes crazy  good

You would think that mid day temperature periods during the summer would be dead, but my trip on Sunday showed my that even in 100 degrees and at high noon, the topwater frog bite was insane. I ran out of my Stanley Ribbit lures before I even got to the good fishing holes. After summer rains look to target bass as high up on the bank as the water rises, it always blows my mind how many bites I get in water that has flooded into standing grass and weed lines. I throw a weedless Stanley Ribbit in the watermelon red color to target the bass. Just remember if the water rises so do the fish.

#3 The good old fashioned Super Fluke

My favorite and most effective bass fishing method has and always will be the Super Fluke. My go to color is watermelon red flake but I have also had success with the Arkansas Shiner color as well as the Mardi Gras color. I usually fish the fluke with a weightless setup but sometimes a 1/8 ounce bullet weight gets it deep enough to work the structure the fish are holding on. 90 percent of your strikes will be as the fluke is falling through the water column so be patient with your lure action and let it sink.

#4 Finess fishing worms

A texas-rigged worm is the most widely used method for summer bass. When bass are lethargic and don’t want to chase fast moving or floating baits a slow moving worm dragged in front of their face is hard to resist, My main colors I use are pink, purple, june-bug and watermelon red. a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce bullet weight is all you will need in most situations. Once again, in the early morning and evening hours don’t be afraid to literally throw your lure onto the bank and work it into the water. My biggest bass the summer was in less than a foot of water when he hit my worm.

I hope this short post will help you catch some more bass this summer and remember, snakes also like shaded areas so be careful when you fish and always keep an eye out. Good luck and stay safe!

Sometimes the best soft plastics can’t beat a bucket full of minnows.

My love for bass fishing is rooted deeply in my ability to fish soft plastics and consistently catch bass using them. It’s been unbearably hot here the last two weeks and my production with plastics has dropped dramatically, some days they don’t even hit a beetle spin which is very very bad.

So for this trip I decided to go old school, I threw on a red and white bobber, bought two dozen minnows and set off in my kayak. The heat index was still over 100 so I settled in the shade of a bridge and threw my first cast, I had my first fish on the line before I could even turn my camera on to start the trip. My First fish was a keeper largemouth measuring 15 1/2 inches. I was still skeptical as maybe I caught the one bass that was eating but sure enough my next four casts all yielded fish within 5 seconds of that bobber hitting the water. i ended up catching a few bass fishing my plastics while my minnows worked the drop offs and structure but the minnows stole the show yesterday. I ended up catching over 15 bass, 2 catfish, a small rock bass (I think), and four gar including on monster at the end of the video who broke my line.

One piece of advice for this blog is when fishing around or under bridges in my kayak i prefer to use my light tackle rod, due to its shorter length and compact reel I can maneuver easier in tight spaces and have a less chance of losing the fish due to improper rod placement. As always be safe, have fun outside and don’t forget to take someone with you on your next trip, it just might be the highlight of their summer.

WARNING! – NOTICE 3/4 THROUGH THE VIDEO A 5 FOOT PLUS SNAKE DECIDES TO CHECK ME OUT. I GOT THE HEEBIE GEEBIES WATCHING IT SWIM BY

This Week’s Fishing Report.

Hey everyone and thanks for swinging by. This weeks freshwater fishing started off with a bang and slowly tapered off into a lethargic day yesterday. Below I will cover where fish where caught, what lures, and what presentation.

Where they were caught-

95% of the fish caught this week where in two feet of water or less with a drop off close by, once again most fish where under the overhangs or right up against structure such as stumps or fallen trees. Last weeks bridge fishing action wasn’t happening as the only fish I caught on the bridge pillars was a massive bluegill on a rattle trap. Another hot spot this week were canals leading up to private launches and boat houses.

What was i using for bait?

Almost all fish caught including the Largemouth and Bowfin were caught on a Watermelon red flake super fluke with a paddle tail. the presentation was almost always a weightless fluke on a 3/0 wide gap worm hook in red color. every now and then i put a 1/16 bullet weight to help get it down a little deeper in the water column. Other fish caught consisted of a chain pickerel while trolling a small crank bait for crappie, two catfish on worms targeting crappie, and a big water moccasin that wanted to be in my kayak but i paddled like the wind to get away from him. Always be weary of drifting near overhanging branches and tree limbs because that’s where the cottonmouths and copperheads like to sunbathe.

Thanks for stopping by alto outdoors and come back next sunday for pictures and videos from the White River in Arkansas.

Pictures and videos form this week’s fishing trips.

bass 5:7 Big bowfin 5:5 big bpwfin 5:7

How to catch fish on bluebird days

If there is one odd habit among fisherman it is the notion that a perfect “bluebird” day will yield horrible results of fishing. The high pressure does turn bass off of this normal aggressive tendencies but don’t let that fool you. A bass or any other species freshwater or saltwater for that matter will very rarely turn down an opportunity for an easy meal. While you might not have as much success throwing fast moving baits or top waters as usual, a good soft plastics technique can yield big results even during periods of high pressure.

Bass have incredible eyesight, while a human might consider the water to have 6 inches visibility a bass could be able to notice visual movements at more than 2-3 feet. This is because bass have highly developed and sensitive eyes. During days of high pressure where there isn’t a cloud in the sky think of bass as someone who just had their eyes dilated. They are sensitive to sunlight and want to be in the shade. As the shadows shrink throughout the day the bass will move to submerged structure or next to large objects in the water that off them some shade. Early mornings and late evenings they will move up to feed in the more open shallow waters.

My recommendation for high pressure fishing is to target the bass along structure using soft plastics, my weapon of choice no matter what body of water I’m fishing is almost always a super fluke with a 1/8 or 1/16 bullet weight or even weightless depending on the situation. My color of choice is always to start with the deadly watermelon red color pattern. Another effective bait is a Jointed Rapala floating minnow, Fish love that basic old school lure. When you cast your worm, fluke or lizard make sure you either cast it on the bank and drag it into the water or slap it against the structure to get as close to a realistic presentation as possible. I even purposely throw my weedless lizards into tree limbs just to jiggle them out and let them fall like natural prey would.

I hope today’s post helps you target bass on the high pressure days. Below is the video of yesterday’s bluebird kayak fishing trip. I  ended the day with 4 bass, two bowfin that I let throw the hooks the one on the video was massive , a chain pickerel trolling a tiny chartreuse crank bait while paddling to the boat ramp and a large perch on a tiny rattle trap under a bridge.